There are so many things that I’m horrible at doing.
I’m terrible at administration. I always forget to put things on the calendar. Chord charts that I create are a total mess. I’m mediocre at studio engineering, I don’t always see the big picture of worship environments, I can’t remember the last time I used a spreadsheet, and I’m the weirdest introvert I know.
For many years of ministry, I felt really guilty that I wasn’t great at everything. Aims of perfection in all things stretched me so thin that I wasn’t able to do anything well at all. In a strange way, I’ve recently become more comfortable with all my weaknesses.
As I continue to strive for excellence and godliness in all things, I’m more aware that no one can do everything awesome all the time… it’s just not realistic. Maybe even more importantly, when we try to do everything, we neglect to empower and enable others to do the great work of ministry.
Tweet This:When we try to do everything, we neglect to empower others to do the great work of ministry. @aaronivey @asworship
Ministry to the body of Christ and service to a city requires a diversity of giftings and skills. The Church and the city needs many different types of leaders with different giftings, working together for the glory of God. As a worship pastor in the local Church, I will certainly stoop to levels of mediocrity and weariness if I try to do too many things that are outside my skill set and gifting.
Perhaps you are a worship leader or pastor (whether you are employed or volunteer), and you feel this same tension. There’s too many tasks to be done, too little time, and too much at stake.
A few years ago, a friend of mine spoke some godly wisdom into my weary soul. It was a season of feeling overwhelmed and on the edge of burnout, and my kindred brother simply said, “Bro… you are trying to do everything, but you’re doing nothing well. You are actually only great at a few things, so do more of what you’re great at, and empower others to do the rest.”
He was right. Ministry is more healthy and vibrant, when we empower others in their giftings to do what we couldn’t do on our own.
Tweet This: Ministry becomes healthy & vibrant when we empower others in their gifts, to do what we can’t! @aaronivey @asworship
I’ve found this to be so freeing in this season of ministry. My team does things that they are great at, and I am not:
- Kyle Lent is great at producing and engineering.
- Philip Ellis is great at organization and scheduling.
- Chris Collins is great at catalyzing a team.
- Matthew Moore is great at seeing the big picture on a Sunday.
- Justin Cofield is great at shepherding.
- Matt Graham is great at hearing melodies.
- Brett Land is great at energizing people to worship and know God.
- Jaleesa McCrearry is great at organization.
- Todd Hartmann is great at mixing live audio.
- Jimmie Ingram is great at developing musicians.
- Lauren Huff and Shawn Bueche are great at artistry and design.
I could go on and on about the people I’m surround by… but my point is this… a team (no matter how small or large) works better when people are empowered to do more of what they are great at. I’ve been a worship pastor at small and large churches, volunteer and employed, itinerant and full-time… and the same is true in any situation.
So, here are 4 simple ways you can start empowering and enabling others to do the great work of ministry:
1. Surround yourself with people that are different than you
If your team looks like a bunch of “you”s, you’re gonna be frustrated with you and all the other “you”s. Jesus shaped his ministry around many different types of people with different giftings and skills. Together, by the power of the Spirit of God, they turned cities upside down with Gospel.
2. Don’t be afraid to admit all of your weaknesses
It’s still incredibly vulnerable to admit to my teams how weak I still am in countless areas. As a pastor and elder, I feel like I should have more of my life in order! But, if I had everything in order, I wouldn’t have a need for Jesus and neither would my team. They have a weak leader in me, but they have a very strong leader in Jesus.
Tweet This: Building a platform can’t be the aim of ministry. @aaronivey @asworship #worshipleader
3. Tear down your platform to build up somebody else
It’s easy to build a platform for yourself. Start a blog, write a song, buy a guitar, stand on the corner and shout.. whatever… you can build a platform. But the platform can’t be the aim of ministry. So, tear it down. Make yourself less noticeable, and spotlight Jesus in other people.
Even Jesus refused to build his own platform. He chose humility and submission (even death on a cross) over power and fame. He chose to die, so that I might live. He chose to become sin, so I wouldn’t have to pay the penalty of it.
4. Be great at loving Jesus and His Word
In all my striving as a songwriter, pastor, and leader, the highest aim of my heart is to love Jesus and His Word. I’m realizing more now than ever that songs, records, conferences, and leadership opportunities PALE in comparison to knowing Jesus and His Word.
At the end of the day, my identity isn’t in what I do.. but in whose I am. Jesus deserves, and the Church needs worship leaders that are in love with the person of Christ, above all else.